Stories are set somewhere. It's either background or part of the story in how it interacts with those who travel therein, or the character interacts with it in some way. We do not exist in white space. And yet I read stories where it's completely missing. There is nothing to visualise or imagine, no hint … Continue reading What do I see?
When writing essays and non-fiction, there are rules for what a paragraph is, what it does, what is presented for the beginning, middle and end (sounds a bit familiar, I'm thinking). In fiction, however, it seems the same rules don't work. They must not, or I wouldn't be reading (or trying to read) a story … Continue reading Easy-to-Understand Fiction paragraphing
In a professional sense, this time. Something I've noticed recently is the lack of professional attitude in story characters. It's disappointing, even if I understand how much work goes into the story. The character can't be identifiable by a reader as a fraud, out of place/time, or using the wrong objects/words. A priest doesn't walk … Continue reading Being True to Character
Or Wicked Witch. Whatever. I'm the witch. It's not a compliment, I'm sure of that. Picky, pedantic, pushy. A few other words. Why? Some people get offended when I give them a critique of their work. Maybe I'm not as nice as I could be, maybe I don't want to lay on the sugar, but … Continue reading The Word-Witch
Otherwise known as Setting. It's one of the [many] things I struggle with. The basics of an opening to a story needs to make clear the Who is Where and When, Why they're there (maybe just a hint), and What they're doing. This post is about the Where and When of a story. The place … Continue reading Place and Time
It's that old conundrum of show versus tell. Every story has summary, every story has immediacy, but they don't usually end up in the same paragraph. There are reasons for that. A tell is summarising something, a conclusion made, or an unmoving description (static, unattached to a character). There are several ways to tell. Summarising … Continue reading Summary Tell, or Interactive Show?
What -- you do it first? I don't, and there's a reason for that. It's not that I do things back to front, at least not from my perspective. The start is the beat sheets, one for each character in the story, but the main two characters (usually the main character/protagonist and the antagonist) get … Continue reading And Then There was the … Synopsis
Remember the story process posts (combined post here)? Well, that was just the start! What happens next? The next level down for a story plan (yes, it's a real plan, but not a synopsis or outline -- this is a process, my process): Scene Outlines What is a scene outline? This is a bit like … Continue reading What comes after?
Or POV, as we more often say. This is a story, a personal rendition of how I learned how to understand POV. It's told from my perspective, so it's in First Person POV. No, I'm not going to talk about tenses. That's a different matter altogether, and POV is tough enough to get right without … Continue reading It’s All In The Point of View
The writerly term is talking heads syndrome. What does it mean? Dialogue happens, but there's nothing there, no sense of the where for setting, nor grounding of context or situation. Dialogue can be great, but if there's no world setting, no place for it to happen, the mouthpieces can be set on a piece of … Continue reading Chit, Chat without Context